11 March 2016

Julie De Fina will pen the script for this unique coming of age story.

Casp Productions has picked up the rights to Loretta Gutman, Australian writer Julie De Fina's spec romance about thirty something slackers.

Julie De Fina, who wrote the viral hit "Trolls", will be rewriting the screenplay, which centers on underachiever Loretta Gutman's journey to acceptance.

Bitter & Twisted executive producer Christopher Weekes will produce the project, alongside the U.S division of Casp Productions.

Casp Productions is currently finishing up Martha the Monster, which stars Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale and Krew Boylan.

De Fina is managed by Creative Rep in Australia. ​


23 November, 2015

Martha is almost here!

click here for more...



13 March 2014

Production shooting has begun on MARTHA THE MONSTER.

"In an upside down world, where humans live alongside kids tv shows monsters, Martha, a 20-something soft spoken orange furred creature is having a crisis of identity. Unable to fit in as either monster or human, she’s pushed to her very limits one incredible day to discover it’s “Okay to be Different”.

Writer: Christopher Weekes
Director: Christopher Weekes
Cast: Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale

Produced by See Pictures and Casp Productions.

See Pictures Announcement


Five filmmaking teams selected for Springboard

13th March 2013

Screen Australia has selected five teams to take part in this year's Springboard: Short Film Initiative and potentially receive $150,000 production funding.

The five directors - Christopher Weekes, Hannah Moon, Tom McKeith, Darlene Johnson and Liselle Mei - and their teams will now develop a short film script that will showcase their developed feature film screenplay. Three of the shorts will then receive $150,000 funding.

Weekes is perhaps the best known after making his debut feature Bitter & Twisted in 2008, which he followed by topping the influential Black List (which ranks Hollywood film executives’ views on the best unproduced movie scripts) in 2009 with The Muppet Man. His Springboard feature project Pest Control is a family comedy about a city that gets overrun by monsters.

Hannah Moon's project Starfish, is a comedy, which she is co-writing with Robin Geradts-Gill and Stephen Sholl. Tom McKeith’s project Boxer is a thriller and is currently being developed through Screen NSW’s Aurora workshop. Darlene Johnson’s project Obelia is based on her mother’s true story growing up in country Australia in 1951 and Liselle Mei’s Red Earth is a Sino-Australian historical romance.

Screen Australia’s head of development, Martha Coleman, said the Springboard process has uncovered exciting new talent and provided support to talented filmmakers already on Screen Australia's radar. "This year’s strong contingent of female voices is particularly exciting and the diversity of stories in this group reflects a healthy, wide range of interests within our emerging film community,” she said in a statement.

Previous Springboard short films include Grant Scicluna’s love story The Wilding, which premiered at Berlinale 2012, and Zak Hilditch’s Transmission, which was nominated for two AACTA Awards and led to his feature film These Final Hours (currently in post-production).


April 27, 2011

Weekes to pen biopic, Forman in talks to direct.

Screenwriter Christopher Weekes has been tapped to pen the biopic “Ponzi’s Scheme,” with Milos Forman in talks to helm.

Weekes, whose screenplay for Jim Henson pic “Muppet Man” attracted attention when it topped the 2009 Black List, will adapt Mitchell Zuckoff’s 2006 bio “Ponzi’s Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend” for the brewing feature. Jean Doumanian Prods. and Starry Night Entertainment produce.

Storyline follows the real-life trajectory of Italian immigrant Charles Ponzi, creator of the eponymous financial scam and the precursor to the headline-grabbing fiscal misdeeds of Bernard Madoff and Kenneth Lay.

Weekes is repped by Britton Rizzio at Circle of Confusion and David Karp and Adriana Alberghetti at WME, while Forman is repped by WME’s Chris Donnelly and Aspland Management’s Dennis Aspland.

Doumanian’s slate of upcoming films includes screen adaptations of plays “August: Osage County” and “Blackbird,” while Starry Night principals Michael Shulman and Craig Saavedra are at work developing a new Broadway tuner and a reality TV skein.

Doumanian Prods. and Starry Night previously worked together on the recent Off Broadway production of Michael Shannon starrer “Mistakes Were Made.”

Read original article here.



March 5, 2010

Just a month after Disney hired Flight of the Conchords co-creator James Bobin to direct a new Muppet movie, studio insiders now tell Vulture that the studio is also in discussions with the Jim Henson Company to make The Muppet Man, a biopic about Jim Henson. We're told that both Henson (the company, obviously) and Disney execs are extremely interested in hiring commercial and music-video director Michael Gracey to make the film.

The script, written by Australian scribe Christopher Weekes, topped last year's "Black List," the industry's unofficial rundown of the best unproduced screenplays. However, when Weekes wrote the script, which contains flights of fancy in which crucial moments in Henson's life are played out by Muppets, he did so without securing the rights to either Henson or his creations. So a Disney and Henson Company collaboration is likely the only way this film could be made: The Henson Company controls the life rights to Henson and his surviving ex-wife, Jane, while Disney bought the rights to the Muppets in 2004. Finally, the two sides seem to have stopped arguing over who should pull the strings and are collaborating on getting it made.

The script, written by Australian scribe Christopher Weekes, topped last year's "Black List," the industry's unofficial rundown of the best unproduced screenplays. However, when Weekes wrote the script, which contains flights of fancy in which crucial moments in Henson's life are played out by Muppets, he did so without securing the rights to either Henson or his creations. So a Disney and Henson Company collaboration is likely the only way this film could be made: The Henson Company controls the life rights to Henson and his surviving ex-wife, Jane, while Disney bought the rights to the Muppets in 2004. Finally, the two sides seem to have stopped arguing over who should pull the strings and are collaborating on getting it made.

Read original article here.


December 11, 2009

When the Black List, Hollywood's annual ranking of the top unproduced scripts, was unveiled Friday, it lent the full weight of its authority to Christopher Weekes.

Weekes' screenplay "The Muppet Man," about the life and loves of Jim Henson, had landed the top spot, ahead of a number of up-and-coming writers and even established names like Aaron Sorkin.

That kind of honor comes with a host of benefits, not the least of which is giving a valuable boost to the project (last year's winner, a quirky character piece called "The Beaver," was catapulted toward production by its Black List win, with Mel Gibson now starring, Jodie Foster directing and Summit Entertainment, the studio behind the "Twilight" franchise, distributing the film).

"The Muppet Man," which takes an almost fairy-tale view of the romance between the late Jim Henson and his longtime wife Jane, faces a far tougher climb.

Weekes was discovered by managers Britton Rizzio and Kelly McCormack after they had seen an indie movie of his at a film festival in 2008. They soon found he had written, entirely on spec, a script about one of the most enigmatic and private of contemporary artists without having ever met or even read much about him (there exists no major published biography about Henson).

Instead, Weeks conjured the story mostly out of his imagination, basing it on a series of photos he'd studied and whatever strands of information he could find on things like Wikipedia. "Even though I was just 10 when he died, Jim Henson had been this Walt Disney-like figure in my life, and I wanted to create a version of him as seen through these kind of rose-colored glasses," Weekes said Friday from Australia.

Read the full article here.


August 12, 2009

Weekes time at Legendary.

Legendary Pictures has tapped Christopher Weekes to rewrite “Waterproof,” the family actioner that “Enchanted” helmer Kevin Lima will direct.

Project revolves around a man who unwittingly unleashes a cadre of mythological creatures upon his town.

Legendary initially picked up “Waterproof” as a pitch from Gregg Chabot and Kevin Peterka, who took the first stab at penning the script.

Weekes first attracted attention around town for his script “The Muppet Man,” a fictional account of the final days of Jim Henson.

“Waterproof” is expected to be Lima’s next directing effort.

Lima will produce the pic with Chris Chase, as well as Daniel Bobker and Ehren Kruger.

Legendary recently attached Sam Raimi to helm “Warcraft,” based on the “World of Warcraft” videogame franchise, and is currently in production on the reboot of “Clash of the Titans,” “Sucker Punch” and “Jonah Hex” at Warner Bros. Shingle’s “Where the Wild Things Are” goes out Oct. 16 and “Ninja Assassin” bows Nov. 25, also through WB.

Read original article here.


April 9, 2009

Christopher Weekes' BITTER & TWISTED, produced by Bridget Callow, has been nominated for multiple awards at the Italian “Oscar” of Independent Cinema: The Milan International Film Festival (MIFF).

Nominated for Best Picture, writer / director Christopher Weekes is also nominated in the Best Screenplay category. The nomination is Weekes' first nomination for the film. Weekes script was overlooked at all the major Australian 2008 / 2009 awards.

Noni Hazlehurst is one of 4 nominated in the Best Actress category. Other nominees include Renè Zellweger and Melissa Leo, Oscar Nominee 2009 for Frozen River.

Hazlehurst most recently won BEST ACTRESS at the Critic's Circle of Australia Awards for her brave performance as Penelope in BITTER & TWISTED.

She was also nominated for Best Actress at the AFI awards, alongside Leeanna Walsman for Best Supporting Actress.

The jury for the international competition includes Sandrah Oh, Robert Forster and Martin Landau.

Read original article here.


15 Jan, 2009

Noni Hazlehurst has won the 2008 Film Critics Circle of Australia "Best Actress" Award for her portrayal of Penelope Lombard in Casp Productions BITTER & TWISTED.

Leeanna Walsman was also nominated for "Best Supporting Actress" for her portrayal of Indigo.

Read the full article here.


10 December, 2008

Bitter & Twisted has been nominated for two Australian Film Industry Awards.

Noni Hazlehurst for BEST ACTRESS.


Read the full article here.


27 November, 2008

The accolades look set to continue for director Christopher Weekes and his debut film Bitter & Twisted, after the film received an extended standing ovation at the Turin Film Festival, where it is currently playing in official competition alongside 14 films from around the world.

The festival reception caps off a stunning year for Weekes, who has travelled with the film to the Sarajevo, Montreal, Seoul and Tribeca film festivals so far. In addition, Bitter & Twisted cast Noni Hazlehurst and Leeanna Walsmann have each been nominated for AFI Awards, in the best actress and supporting actress categories respectively.

The Dungog Film Festival is the only Australian festival to screen the film so far.

Speaking from Turin, where is a currently a guest of the festival along with the film's lead actor Steve Rodgers, Weekes told INSIDEFILM said he was ecstatic at how far the film had come from its modest beginnings.

"It's a real honour to be invited to screen Bitter & Twisted in competition at this year's Torino Film Festival. I never in my wildest dreams imagined this little film would one day find itself all the way across the world at a giant festival in Italy, playing alongside the work of such heroes of mine as Roman Polanski, Oliver Stone and Nanni Moretti. It's been an experience and opportunity I will never, ever, forget," he said.

He said the Turin festival had flown Rodgers and his family over for the film's first screening, as the actor had not yet seen the completed film.

"Steve Rodgers, who plays Jordan, hadn't actually even seen the film before this week as he's been doing a play in London. The festival flew his family over for our first screening here and he finally got to see this little story of hope we've all been struggling on for so long now, thousands of miles from the sunburnt Sutherland this adventure started in years ago, he said.

Rodgers told INSIDEFILM that he was overwhelmed by the reception from the festival crowd.

"It's been so great to see something I did a while ago get recognised here in Torino where they eat and drink film day and night. At the opening night screening I hadn't seen the film before because I've been out of Australia doing theatre in London, so it was a really emotional night for me," he said.

"I'd forgotten how much heart Chris had put in the film. When they stood up at the end I couldn't get the smile off my face. I felt like the white headed, big bloke version of Megan Gale. This truly is an independent success story."

Bitter & Twisted was produced by Bridget Callow and Odin's Eye Entertainment is handing worldwide sales of the film.

Odin's Eye principal Michael Favelle said: "It's really rewarding to see this little film, deemed not worthy of government support, be received so warmly all over the world. I'm really happy for Chris; he has done a great job and deserves some time in the sun."

Written by Simon de Bruyn

Read the original article here.

Photo. Torino Film Festival 2008


October 4, 2008

A subtle take on bereavement - Bitter & Twisted
by David Stratton, The Australian

BACK in the 1960s, when I was often involved in bitter arguments with the chief film censor about some of his board's more outrageous decisions, he would express amazement that anyone would want to see this or to hear that as part of an entertainment.

He could never be persuaded that the cinema can, and should, be more than mere entertainment, that it can carry messages and tell stories as powerful and meaningful as any novel, and with more immediacy. It's true that the vast majority of people who go to the cinema, most of them young, do so to be entertained, to relax and enjoy themselves. But that doesn't mean films that set out to do something different - to educate, to inform, to probe the human condition - aren't equally valid. Hollywood pretty much corners the market when it comes to movie entertainment, while Australian cinema, on the whole, has always been more aligned towards Europe in that most locally made films, whether they are successful or unsuccessful, are about real people, not comic book characters.

These thoughts came to mind while watching Bitter and Twisted, a low-budget Australian film that shows evidence of enormous talent even asit deliberately avoids any element that mostpeople would call entertainment. Even the title is indicative of its ultra-serious intentions (it could form part of a triple bill with Mike Leigh's Bleak Moments and Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Despair).

Like Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colours: Blue and the new Swedish film Suddenly, this is a film about bereavement, the toll the sudden death of a loved one takes on a family; not your average Friday-night popcorn movie.

The film begins with the sudden and (to the audience) unexplained death of a young man. Three years later, those closest to him are still suffering from the loss. His father (Steve Rodgers), a not very successful car salesman, has become a binge eater and as a result is embarrassingly obese; he can no longer give his wife (Noni Hazlehurst) the love and comfort she craves. Their surviving son, Ben, played by the film's talented writer-director Christopher Weekes, is, if anything, even more conflicted. On the one hand he's drawn towards his dead brother's girlfriend, Indigo (Leeanna Walsman), who lives next door and who has channelled her hurt and loss into a damaging affair with a married man (Gary Sweet), while on the other, his instincts are to hang out with his gay friend (Matthew Newton), a charming layabout.

Weekes's approach is subtle and understated. These people, who live in a southern suburb of Sydney, are largely inarticulate, unable to talk about the pain they feel. The father spends his lunch hours eating his sandwiches in the cemetery where his son is buried; the mother vainly attempts to improve her life with new clothes, a different hairstyle, even a trip to a bar where she meets a slightly predatory character closer in age to her son than to herself. There are long, pregnant silences, embarrassing small talk, clumsy attempts to come to terms with lives that are forever changed. Obviously this is not a film for everyone, and it was made without assistance from the usual government funding bodies. Yet on so many levels it is a better film than some of the more vaunted local productions we've seen recently, thanks partly to the consummate performances from a cast of actors who are accomplished enough to fill in the deliberate gaps in the dialogue with looks, glances and body language but also because of the outstanding cinematography by Sam Collins, which is so precisely lit and framed it evokes early Jane Campion.

It's probably true that Rodgers is too young to play the father, but after his first scene, his delicate, painfully good performance transcends any qualms on that score.

Films such as Bitter and Twisted have a very hard time competing against higher profile movies with advertising budgets that probably exceed the cost of a small, underfunded local production. But when a film is as good as this, it deserves to be supported and to be counted among the most positive achievements of Australian cinema. Certainly, it's one of the best locally made films released this year.

Read original article here.



7th August, 2008

Australian writer/director Christopher Weekes is packing his bags again to follow his debut feature Bitter & Twisted to the Sarajevo Film Festival where it will screen as part of the "international auteur" program alongside Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg and Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York.

The film was labeled one of the sleeper hits of this year's Tribeca Film Festival after five sold out screenings, and made its Australian festival debut at the small but burgeoning Dungog Film Festival in late May. It will also screen at the Montreal World Film Festival in late August.

The film will screen in Sarajevo as part of the Panorama program, which is comprised of only 16 films defined by their "exceptional narrative" and "extraordinary quality" and helmed by a range of geographically diverse "international auteurs".

Set in suburban Sydney, Bitter & Twisted is an ensemble piece about a family's reaction to son Liam's untimely death three years before, and draws powerful performances from a diverse cast including Noni Hazlehurst, Steve Rodgers, Leeanna Walsman, Gary Sweet, and Matt Newton. It was produced by Bridget Callow.

In an email interview from his current screenwriting base in New York, Weekes told INSIDEFILM he was excited about the festival slots, particularly the Sarajevo screening alongside Kaufman who was one of his personal filmmaking heroes.

"It's an incredible honour to get selected for these two festivals. It was only a few months ago I'd given up thinking anyone was going to see Bitter & Twisted unless they watched it on my couch. Now I'm heading to Bosnia to screen it outside an old fire station the night after Charlie Kaufman screens his new film on the same wall," he said.

"That's more than just a dream - that's a sign I should go out and buy a lottery ticket … and maybe a copy of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for Charlie to sign when I get there."

The film's executive producer and sales agent Michael Favelle (with Odin's Eye Entertainment) said he expected to announce an Australian distributor for the film in coming weeks.

Bitter & Twisted will have a limited preview season to quality for the AFI Awards at Melbourne's Sun Theatre from September 4.

Written by Simon de Bruyn

Read the original article here.


9th May, 2008

BITTER & TWISTED, an independently financed film from young writer/director Christopher Weekes premiered last week at the prestigious New York Tribeca Film Festival to rave reviews and accolades.

By the opening night, four of its five screenings had already sold out and Q&A sessions were packed with audiences curious about this surprise hit from the other side of the world.

According to Weekes, "it was nerve-racking seeing it for the first time with an actual audience, before that we'd only ever screened in it in my lounge room … We were literally carrying the film with us on the plane, finishing it a day or so before we were on … but the response since we got in New York has been so amazing and overwhelming that I'm still in a state of shock from it all."

Jane Rosenthal, who co-founded the Tribeca Film Festival with Robert DeNiro, described Weekes as "a unique and distinct voice. Bitter and Twisted is a strong directorial debut and a wonderful film with characters that draw you in."

BITTER & TWISTED was filmed and financed by Weekes when he was just 24 and features some of Australia's finest talents including Noni Hazlehurst (" The Australian Judi Dench" … Indiewire), Steve Rodgers, Gary Sweet, Matthew Newton, Leanna Walsman and Rhys Muldoon. The producer Bridget Callow only adds to the achievements, being merely 24 at the time herself.

Sales Agent Michael Favelle of Odin's Eye Entertainment is fielding numerous offers for the film and writer/director Christopher Weekes, who also starred in the film, has stayed on in New York to keep up with the unexpected demand from top US agencies and production companies to direct new projects.

Australian audiences will not have to wait too long before they get their first taste of BITTER & TWISTED. The movie will have its Australian Premiere as the closing night film of the 2nd Annual Dungog Film Festival, with other local and international festivals and distribution soon to be announced.

BITTER & TWISTED is an intimate story of longing, loss and identity. Three years after the death of a young man we flash forward to see the toll it has taken on his parents (Hazlehurst & Rodgers), brother (Weekes), and ex-girlfriend (Walsman).

Read the original article here.